Back to school we go

 

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By Hope Roush, OVB Financial Literacy Leader

Sweet, sweet summer, oh how you came and went in a flash. Yes, it’s time to get ready to hit the books and head back to school. While the weather is still in summer sunshine mode, area students are set to return to school this week.

It might be sad to see summer vacation come to a close, but the start of a new school year can be an exciting time. Along with new academic challenges, the start of the school year also brings the chance for new clubs/activities as well as fall athletics. Just getting back into the school routine is a fresh start for both students and parents.

While a new school year is exciting, it can provide financial stress on many families. If you missed the Ohio Sales Tax Holiday earlier this month, there are still many ways to save on the upcoming academic year. One thing to avoid added costs is to find out exactly what items your child will need. Fortunately, most schools now provide supply lists. By sticking with the list, you won’t be tempted to overspend on unnecessary supplies. As many schools also provide basic supplies, knowing what is required to purchase can be a huge saving on your wallet. Also, check what school supplies you already have at home before you shop.

With growth spurts for many children and teens, shopping for new school clothes is another added expense. Before you hit the mall, determine what clothing items are in good condition and still fit your child. While shopping, look for discounts. Many retailers tend to put items out for the upcoming seasons, while out of season pieces go to discount. With area schools starting in August, discount summer clothing could still be perfectly reasonable for school. College students should ask for discounts as well since many stores offer them. Consider shopping at consignment shops and/or yard sales as well. Gently used clothing might be a more feasible option, especially for young children who are constantly growing.

When the school year kicks off, lunch costs are another expense. Fortunately, several area schools offer free lunch programs to all students. Make sure to call your child’s school if you aren’t aware of the lunch policy. For picky eaters who might not enjoy the school lunch, packing and planning for lunches in advance can cut costs. Include school expenses in your monthly budget. Preparing meals in advance is a good way to save both time and money. Involve your child in the process by allowing them to help pack and choose their food. Letting your child in on this process will avoid food going to waste as well as serve as a financial lesson. Always check coupons in your newspaper or see what discounts your local grocery store is offering.

Locally, students will return to school the following dates:

  • Cabell County Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 14
  • Miami Trace Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 14
  • Washington City Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 14
  • Western Local Schools – Thursday, Aug. 15
  • Eastern Local Schools (Pike) – Thursday, Aug. 15
  • Jackson City Schools – Monday, Aug. 19
  • Southern Local Schools – Monday, Aug. 19
  • Madison-Plains Schools – Monday, Aug. 19
  • Westfall Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 21
  • Gallia County Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 21
  • Mason County Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 21
  • Wellston Local Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 21
  • Oak Hill Union Local Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 21
  • Meigs Local Schools – Thursday, Aug. 22
  • Gallipolis City Schools – Thursday, Aug. 22
  • Waverly City Schools – Thursday, Aug. 22
  • Eastern Local Schools (Meigs) – Friday, Aug. 23

From all of us at Ohio Valley Bank, we hope this is a wonderful school year for both students and teachers. For information on OVB’s financial literacy programs, visit www.ovbc.com or e-mail OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.

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